Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

I encourage you to read Sean Stannard-Stockton's article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He leads off with "What if foundations mostly gave unrestricted funding instead of
dictating how grantees could spend their grants? What if foundations
kept supporting grantees who performed instead of ending funding
because the “grant cycle” had ended? What if foundations ditched the
whole system of soliciting grant proposals and focused on proactively
searching for great grantees? What if foundations expected grant
reports to mostly consist of information the nonprofit was collecting
anyway rather than specialized requests that sap the grantees resources?"

Then he points to the "Mulago Foundation may very well be a case study of an emergent model of how to run a foundation."

I go a step further. What if someone built a "blueprint" that showed the infrastructure needed in a tutor/mentor program, and provide a vision, like the birth to work chart shown below, indicating the long-term goal of youth who are part of a tutor/mentor program having age appropriate supports each year from when they join till when they graduate and are headed to college and careers.

They could also provided something like the "success steps" model that Cabrini Connections uses to illustrate the types of supports that should be provided each year for many years.

Then they could also provide poverty maps showing where tutor/mentor programs are most needed in Chicago or other cities, such as the one below.

These maps show where they are needed and the blueprints provide a vision that many programs could aspire to. If the program can show on its web site that it is providing the services that are needed each year, then donors and volunteers could look at the type of infrastructure that is needed, and provide the dollars, time or talent to programs in these neighborhoods to help them stay connected to kids and volunteers through all of the years it takes for kids to go from first grade through 12th grade, and even beyond that to when they are looking for jobs and volunteers could be helping open doors.

If the theoretical model is created by a collaboration of programs offering tutoring/mentoring and the people who want such programs to exist and succeed, then donors who believe in the theoretical model should be able to look at a programs web site and decide if they are in an area where the program is needed, doing the type of work that would lead to the outcome they want the program to impact, and then provide the resources needed based on what they have to offer. Visit the Tutor/Mentor Institute for more articles related to this idea.

This chart illustrates the role that intermediaries could take in buiding a theoretical model, or blueprint, that could be a common vision used by those who can help and those who need help. If such a model were created it would relieve all non profits who share the vision with the burden of providing their own theoretical model and would provide a common tool that resource providers and service providers could use to lobby for expanded resources to flow on an on-going and long-term basis.

Does this exist anywhere for the tutor/mentor field?.

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